Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Laffer: Income Tax will be devastating for Washington State

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In the past decade, the nine states with the highest personal income tax rates have seen gross state product increase by 59.8%, personal income grow by 51%, and population increase by 6.1%. The nine states with no personal income tax have seen gross state product increase by 86.3%, personal income grow by 64.1%, and population increase by 15.5%.


It's striking how the high-tax states have underperformed relative to those with no income tax. Especially noteworthy is how well Washington has performed compared to states with no income tax.


If Washington passes Initiative 1098, it will go from being one of the fastest-growing states in the country to one of the slowest-growing. And passage of I-1098 will only be the beginning. Just look at Ohio, Michigan and California to see that once a state adopts an income tax, there is no end to the number of reasons that such a tax could be extended, expanded and increased.


Over the past 50 years, 11 states have introduced state income taxes exactly as Messrs. Gates and their allies are proposing—and the consequences have been devastating.